Long-term effect of a plant-based diet on magnesium status during pregnancy

Koebnick, C., Leitzmann, R., Garcia, A.L. , Heins, U.A., Heuer, T., Golf, S., Katz, N., Hoffmann, I. and Leitzmann, C. (2005) Long-term effect of a plant-based diet on magnesium status during pregnancy. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 59(2), pp. 219-225. (doi: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602062)

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OBJECTIVE: To compare dietary magnesium intake and magnesium concentrations in serum, red blood cells (RBC) and urine during pregnancy of women habitually following a long-term plant-based diet and of women following an average Western (control) diet. DESIGN: Prospective study during pregnancy. SETTING: Giessen, Germany. SUBJECTS: Healthy pregnant women (n=108) in their 9-12th, 20-22nd and 36-38th gestational week habitually following a plant-based diet for more than 3 y or an average Western diet. The vegetarians were subdivided into ovo-lacto vegetarians (n=27) and low-meat eaters (n=43). RESULTS: Significant higher dietary magnesium intakes were observed in pregnant women consuming a plant-based diet (508+/-14 mg/day for ovo-lacto vegetarians, P<0.001 and 504+/-11 mg/day for low-meat eaters, P<0.001) than in pregnant women consuming a control diet (412+/-9 mg/day). Serum magnesium concentrations were similar in all diet groups whereas RBC magnesium was slightly higher in low-meat eaters than in controls (P=0.058). Urinary magnesium excretion was higher in ovo-lacto vegetarians (P=0.023), followed by low-meat eaters (P=0.017) when compared to the control group. During the third trimester of pregnancy, the frequency and the occurrence of calf cramps was lower in the plant-based diet group than in the control group (P=0.004 and 0.008). CONCLUSIONS: Owing to a higher dietary magnesium intake confirmed by higher urinary magnesium excretion, habitual plant-based diets result in a slightly improved magnesium status during pregnancy and reduce the frequency of calf cramps during the third trimester of pregnancy compared to an average Western diet. Therefore, plant-based diets during pregnancy can be recommended with regard to magnesium supply.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Garcia, Dr Ada
Authors: Koebnick, C., Leitzmann, R., Garcia, A.L., Heins, U.A., Heuer, T., Golf, S., Katz, N., Hoffmann, I., and Leitzmann, C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
Journal Name:European Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Published Online:29 September 2004

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